We do not shy away from a challenge, even when challenging ourselves. The Xplore Group has already organised several Xplore Group summer events for several years. We have a presence throughout Belgium (well, Europe, but…you know :)) in several beautiful locations like Antwerp, Merelbeke, Leuven and of course, Hasselt. nFuse has always been present with a self-built Nintendo game console and controllers. At every site, we organised a tournament where the winner would be able to walk away with such a self-build device. Every single year we were present and then…Corona happened.

But…2022 is the revival year, and we are so lucky that Xplore Group decided to organise the pre-summer event in Antwerp. That got us thinking, pondering and trying to create something unique. As usual among ‘nerds’, we launched one wild idea after the other. It did not take long before an idea formed in our brains. What if we would build an entire Arcade from scratch. Would that be doable, we wondered…

Our phones popped up, and frantically we searched the internet for such plans, arcades, and examples, and we got more than enthusiastic. Of course, we were excitingly hopping up and down because information and people are abundant, sharing the same great ideas. Fists slammed the table, and we decided we were to build such an Arcade…

We ordered the plans, and we received them by e-mail in several PDFs. And there and then, we stumbled on the first obstacle…(we encountered several barriers, don’t worry). Printing these plans was beyond the capabilities of our printer… but hey, at least we tried. We combined several A3 prints and used scissors. We even created a new unit of measurement. We finally came up with a ‘one-Koen’ unit. (just for reference, of course).

one_koen_small
One-Koen

We quickly realised the size we needed was way too big and that our printer could not handle a ‘one-koen’ unit. So we decided to have the plans printed professionally and go from there. Once received, ordering and obtaining all the stuff we needed began. In the several weeks that followed, we slowly built the Arcade.

All the materials and wood slowly came in or were hauled from our local suppliers. The first batch was flat wood. Then, of course, we had it milled in several smaller pieces because it had to fit in a car. In the following weeks, we were able to get everything cut out, measured, built, customised, mocked up, and programmed. This was not an overnight project, as you can see in the pictures. We have loads more pictures, but we don’t want to bore you to death.

After applying all the nerdy stickers, programming the Raspberry, and setting up and testing the buttons, we had our team rigorously test the device. Of course, several iterations and sprints 🙂 were required to give the seal of approval. D-Day arrived quickly, and we transported our Arcade in the back of a car to our main offices, ‘The Grid’ in Antwerp. We arrived in time to have the Arcade set up at the party location, and oh boy, a party it was. (We will not share any other party pictures).

But, proud as we are, we can say that the Arcade was a success. It attracted quite some attention and players. One particular man managed to crash it (thanks TG), but a quick reboot fixed the problem…yes, yes, “did you try to turn it on and…”

Our nFuse Arcade found its way back home in our nFuse office and is a fun reminder of this project, the spirit of our team and the possibilities given by the Xplore Group. Want to see the video we created? See the link below. We will warn you; it is a couple of minutes. If this player does not work, we invite you to open the following link: https://fb.watch/dgnaIMEnzn/